Alexander de Vol

Alexander de Vol is a designer, artist and maker whose work investigates the material properties of wood and their transferal into other materials. Alexander uses a mix of traditional casting methods and new technologies to document the natural behavior and movement of the vessels which he crafts from 'green wood', while taking care to preserve the features he feels are aesthetically synonymous with the material's origin. Alongside his artistic practice, Alexander lectures in design at the University of Central Lancashire and his work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including Burberry’s Makers House in London.

Wood Artist

Alexander de Vol

North West England

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THE PROCESS

Alex works with unseasoned wood from trees that are recently felled and high in moisture, so the wood is capable of undergoing a dramatic process of change. Once it’s been turned, the wood will morph into a new organic shape as it dries, therefore the final outcome is an object sculpted collaboratively by both maker and material. Alex is comfortable with the unpredictability that this process brings believing it allows for 'unforeseen possibilities'. When finishing work, Alex prefers to use methods that organically transform the object, such as metal patina by oxidisation or scorching wood with flame.

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Q&A

1. What motivates you to make?

I think the motivation to make is intrinsic to most creative people. Since early childhood I have spent most of my free time making, it was the primary form of play that I grew up with, and it’s one of the few that stays with us through adulthood. I never saw a life for myself where I wasn’t a maker, but I’m conscious of the motivations that have informed the type of work I want to create, and the means by which I should be making it. The first years of my career were split between product design and commercial fashion, during which I observed first hand the environmental and social consequences of assembly line manufacturing. Making responsibly and with integrity quickly became my main motivations, and prompted a reassessment of how I was going to craft myself a career from making.

2. What and/or who are you most inspired or influenced by?

The objects I make are mainly inspired by the materials and processes used. I enjoy working with a wide range of media and am frequently seeking new methods of making, be it traditional or innovative. I favour material that can be unpredictable, such as unseasoned wood from wild grown trees, that warp and move as it dries. Or my own mixed clay bodies, which are unproven or untested. When finishing work I favour methods that organically transform the object; such as metal patina by oxidisation or scorching wood with flame.

3. What is your unique approach to your craft and how have you honed your skills?

I regularly introduce variables in my process such as new materials, or methods of building. This allows for unforeseen possibilities.

I’m comfortable seeking out challenges which might inform the final piece and value this collaborative relationship with the process and material more than I do any rigid vision of what the object should be. This was dubbed ‘practice based research’ in my postgraduate studies, but it’s simply an extension of the playful relationship most of us have with making as children, learning through experimentation and observation.

4. What is your defining or proudest moment as a maker so far?

Of course it’s an honour to have work published or nominated, the greatest privilege though is simply being able to work with customers and galleries who trust in me to make pieces that are honest to my values and creative direction. Having experienced how in industry creativity can be overshadowed by compromise and negative impact, I am proud to be able to work in a way I know to be responsible and with integrity.

5. What is your dream project?

Of the many things I’d like to achieve, it’s not really a case of one being more important than the others, so at the risk of sounding cliché, simply being able to continue my current practice is the ‘dream project’. I’m very content and am looking forward to letting things evolve organically from here.

  

ALL PRODUCTS

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Products 1-12 of 21 found

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  1. Gudetama Bottle I
    Gudetama Bottle I
    Alexander de Vol
    £1,700
  2. Gudetama Bottle II
    Gudetama Bottle II
    Out of stock
    Alexander de Vol
    £350
    Out of stock
  3. Piriform Bottle I
    Piriform Bottle I
    Alexander de Vol
    £1,800
  4. Piriform Bottle II
    Piriform Bottle II
    Out of stock
    Alexander de Vol
    £400
    Out of stock
  5. Uncanny Medusaform
    Uncanny Medusaform
    Out of stock
    Alexander de Vol
    £1,450
    Out of stock
  6. Large Cherry Medusaform
    Large Cherry Medusaform
    Out of stock
    Alexander de Vol
    £1,450
    Out of stock
  7. Patina Bronze Gudetama
    Patina Bronze Gudetama
    Alexander de Vol
    £2,640
  8. Shook Metallic Gudetama
    Shook Metallic Gudetama
    Alexander de Vol
    £1,700
  9. Giant Shook Metallic Calceiform
    Giant Shook Metallic Calceiform
    Alexander de Vol
    £1,900
  10. Russet Bronze Conical Bowl
    Russet Bronze Conical Bowl
    Alexander de Vol
    £2,100
  11. Verdigris Elliptic Bowl
    Verdigris Elliptic Bowl
    Alexander de Vol
    £2,800
  12. Polished Bronze Dish
    Polished Bronze Dish
    Alexander de Vol
    £960
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Products 1-12 of 21 found

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